Race Horse Plays Tricks on Nelsan Ellis

October 9, 2010

Nelsan Ellis Chats About Secretariat and Tempermental Horses

Nelsan EllisNelsan Ellis, known to True Blood fans as Lafayette, was not familiar with the story of Secretariat when he auditioned for the film of the same name. What drew Nelsan to the film was his meeting with Secretariat director, Randall Wallace, who wanted Nelsan for the part. 

In a video interview with Tribute, Nelsan described how he “fell in love with the director”, then after doing research, he “fell in love with the horse”. As interviewer Toni-Marie Ippolito pointed out, it didn’t hurt to also have an all star cast to entice him. 

Nelsan, in his quiet way, told how he was challenged by the horses during the filming in the evening hours. When the temperamental race horses got tired, they would play tricks on him.

Hey Nelsan, those were love taps… or nips… or shoves! 

The film, a true story about a woman in the male-dominated industry of racing horses who wins the first Triple Crown in 25 years, opens today, 10/8/10. 

Source: tribute.ca – Nelsan Ellis (Secretariat) Interview

(Photo credit – shadowandact.com)

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Broadway-Goers or Vampire Lovers for Denis O’Hare?

October 7, 2010

Broadway Fans versus True Blood Fans

Denis O'HareHe was wildly popular as the vampire King of Mississippi on HBO‘s True Blood. Now that the season is over, Denis O’Hare is making his way back to Broadway.

In a Broadway.com article, Denis was asked to compare the fans of True Blood with those of a Broadway production. He said it’s a toss-up.

“Broadway fans have to travel here to see their shows, so they have a level of commitment that’s more than just tuning in every week.”

However, with his successful TV stints, Denis is starting to hear such screams as, ‘Oh my God! You’re the King of Mississippi!’

Denis’ Experience with True Blood Fans

Denis talked about the True Blood fan madness he encountered at Comic-Con in San Diego. While he was amazed at the attendance level of 130,000 people, it was his inter-galactic fans that surprised him – the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

But the question was asked about the return of Russell Edgington in Season 4 of True Blood. Although he was left buried ‘alive’ in concrete, the show’s creator, Alan Ball, doesn’t always keep characters dead and gone. Denis had this response:

“I love the show and really hope I’m back next year,” he said. “It’s a very good atmosphere.”

Guess we’ll have to wait for next season’s spoilers.

Source: Broadway.com

(photo credit – Broadway.com)

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Rolling Stone Cover Was Spontaneous, Says Alexander Skarsgard

October 6, 2010

Alexander Skarsgard and the Infamous Rolling Stone Cover

Alexander Skarsgard as Eric Northman on True Blood.If you have not seen it, surely by now you’ve heard of it.  It was the cover of Rolling Stone magazine that portrayed Alex Skarsgard and his True Blood co-stars, Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, nude and splattered in blood.

Per CNN Entertainment, Alexander described in a new interview with GQ UK how that pose came about.

“We showed up and we shot very PG-13 with our clothes on for basically the whole day, like six or seven hours.  Then towards the end the photographer said, ‘I have this, these shots are beautiful and the magazine is going to be happy with them, but I’d like to try something if you guys are game.'”

Believing that no way would this new pose be printed, the three actors “looked at each other” and said “[Expletive] it, let’s do it!”.

But Alex is happy that the controversial photo was printed on the cover.

“I liked it a lot,” he says. “It was definitely more interesting than the safe version…”

Source: marquee.blogs.cnn.com — Alexander Skarsgard on that Bloody Rolling Stone Cover

(photo credit – HBO Inc.)

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Joe Manganiello Figured a Beard Would Work

September 23, 2010

Joe Manganiello on Hair

Although shooting for Season 4 of True Blood hasn’t started yet, Joe Manganiello still keeps his rugged werewolf look intact.  Speaking with New York Magazine recently, Joe was asked a lot of questions about his well manicured beard.

One of the questions he was asked was if his short cropped beard was part of his look for playing Alcide HerveauxJoe did indeed read the books to understand his character.  And then he added his own touches.

“And there’s kind of a reclusive, construction-working, woodsy, kind of, you know, secretive guy, so I figured a beard would work.”

Of course he then admitted that he hates to shave!  Fortunately for him, his beard does not grow very long, so keeping it looking neat is not difficult.

The discussion moved on to body hair – Joe‘s and that of the other male cast members.  Joe said that due to his Sicilian and Armenian heritage, he’s pretty hairless.  Funny for a werewolf.

About his fellow True Blood mates?

“I don’t know.  I haven’t shaved any of them, so I couldn’t tell you.”

Good answer.

Source:  nymag.com

(photo credit – parade.com )

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Music to Vamp By: An Interview With Gary Calamar

September 21, 2010

A picture of Gary Calamar.Gary Calamar is the music supervisor for HBO‘s hit series True Blood. In an interview with IFC, Gary explained that the specific songs and music are a delicate balance when chosen for an episode, or scene location. For example, tunes for Merlotte’s is “upbeat bar music, rockabilly, southern rock”.

For the most part, Gary says the music for True Blood “has sort of a dark undercurrent to it like a lot of New Orleans blues seems to have. Those classics – Slim Harpo, Willie Dixon and Howlin’ Wolf – those are what really kind of speak to me as the sound of Bon Temps.”

Asked if it was true that show creator Alan Ball said he did not want opera music in a vampire show, Gary could not confirm it. However, Alan did tell him he wanted non-traditional music without the overly dramatic type heard in previous vampire movies.

Actually, Alan found Jace Everett‘s “Bad Things” to use as the theme music and Gary said they got lucky with it. During a writing break, Alan found it on iTunes.

“We all liked it but we all kind of thought that we would eventually find the one. But the more we placed other songs against it we realized that it actually was the one. It was perfect and it had just that right combination of menace, romance, sexiness, and humor to it.”

Every episode of True Blood is named after a song. According to Gary, this is difficult due to budget concerns. Some licensing can be too expensive or just not available. In a few cases, the episode titles were changed because the song didn’t work out as planned. But, as music supervisor, this touch makes his job more fun and interesting.

And it’s actually the writers who provide the song ideas. With the mood they set, sometimes they’ll write a song into the script.  But it doesn’t work 100% of the time. Gary said that putting the song up against the picture will sometimes show it’s just not a good fit. That’s when Gary provides the “Plan B” music.

In one example, Gary talked about a song titled “Hitting the Floor”, which was to play during a scene of an actual severed head hitting the floor.

“But the song was not working. Well, I actually knew of a great song by P.J. Harvey called “Hitting the Ground.”  So, we changed the title [from "Floor" to "Ground"] and it still worked thematically.”

Working at night as a DJ, Gary listens to a lot of music, which helps him with ideas for True Blood. Now that he has the feel for what the series ‘sounds like’, it’s a little easier for him to read the script and find the right song to recommend. Once the music is approved by Alan, it’s Gary’s job to check on the license and negotiate the deal for use.

Nathan Barr is the show’s composer for original score and often it’s a song that leads into the score. So both Nathan and Gary need to be in sync. But what about the show’s characters?

“Yeah, each character definitely has their own taste and their own type of music that might be playing along with their theme. It depends on what’s going on in the scene, but Jason‘s taste is much different than Sookie‘s and Sam’s taste is much different than Lafayette‘s.”

In discussing the budget for music, Gary sighs when he thinks about a Led Zeppelin song that worked perfectly for a particular scene.

“But they’re just way too expensive and you know, don’t really do television unless you want to pay them an exorbitant amount of money. No TV show could really afford to have Led Zeppelin. Then it’s my job to find something that’s even better for a fraction of the price.”

I, for one, think he’s doing a really fine job.

Source: ifc.com (1st part2nd part) – The Man Behind the Music of HBO’s “True Blood”

(photo credit – ifc.com)

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Deborah Ann Woll is a Fashion Week Virgin

September 13, 2010

Deborah Ann Woll, without her True Blood fangs, wore a white dress by designer Prabal Gurung at his fashion presentation on Saturday afternoon.

She was enthusiastic as she exclaimed that she’s new to the fashion world.  “This is like a little girl’s dream come true,” said Deborah Ann.  She also likes that Gurung is a new and upcoming designer and did some online research of his work over the past couple of years.

Deborah Ann also noted the irony of her virginal white dress and her role of Jessica, the eternal virgin vampire.

“Well, I’m a Fashion Week virgin.”

Source:  WWD.com – Front Row at Prabal Gurung

(photo credit – Steve Eichner)

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The Roles of Eric and Bill Were Too Sexy and Naked for Denis O’Hare

September 12, 2010

Denis O'Hare True Blood Russell EdgingtonDenis O’Hare as Russell Edgington:

As an actor, sometimes you watch a show and wish you had played one of the characters.  For Denis O’Hare, that’s what he was thinking as a fan watching HBO‘s True Blood.  He thought he could play the part of the magister, the one being played by his friend, Zeljko Ivanek.  So of course Denis was ecstatic when his agent called and asked if he’d be interested in playing the vampire king of Mississippi, Russell Edgington.

Talking in an interview with Vulture, Denis explained his attraction to the hit TV show.

“It was about normal people in a part of the world that we don’t often see dramatized.  They’re working-class people.”  “So much of our TV viewing is upper-class or upper-middle-class.  How can you relate to them?  These people have basic problems, like how do I pay for my car insurance.  I also liked the fact that there was this education about how the world works.  How does it work when a vampire meets a human?  What time do they actually have to go to bed?”

Getting accents right had Denis hiring a dialect coach to learn a correct, upper class Mississippi accent for the role.  “I listened to Haley Barbour, a lot, the Mississippi governor.”  Denis said he also learned a few Gaulish words – an ancient Celtic language – placing Russell‘s history “from about 5000 A.D to 1200 A.D. [I think Denis meant to say B.C.] in Charlemagne’s kingdon and the Frankish kingdom”.

Russell A Hero or Villain

Denis was surprised at having to take his character over the deep end. Although creator Alan Ball warned him, he didn’t see it coming.  But when you have to pull a spine from a living human, well, you just can’t think your character is still sane!  But in his mind, Russell is the hero, not the villain of the show.

“If you look at it from his point of view — if Eric, Sookie, and Bill are the villains — they do terrible things to him.  They double-cross him, they lie to him, they use him.  They kill his lover of 700 years.  They take from him, then spurn his offerings.  We always play the scenes straight-up.  He’s desperate to believe he can have a friend in Bill.  He truly decided that Eric was someone who thought like him and felt like him.  He thought he’d found an ally.  It’s incredibly hurtful.”

Well, okay.

Denis O’Hare’s Look at the Other Characters

When asked about any favorite scenes on the show, Denis mentioned Season 1 when Sookie‘s Gran (Lois Smith) had Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) speak about his experiences in the Civil War.  It was a real historical person talking about events the audience only read about, that occurred 140 years ago.

When musing about the various True Blood characters he could have portrayed, did Denis ever picture himself as either Eric or Bill?

“No. They were all too sexy and too naked for me.”

Denis is such a fascinating person and absolutely perfect as Russell Edgington.  He had more to say, so you must read the entire interview here.  And as to how King Russell fares on the season finale, “anything is possible”.

Source:  nymag.com – Entertainment, The Vampire King

(photo credit – Walter McBride /crisperanto.org)

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True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten Fought Hard To Be A Superhero

September 11, 2010

Ryan Kwanten True Blood Jason StackhousePlaying Jason Stackhouse on HBO‘s hit series True Blood has brought a lot of high quality work to Ryan Kwanten’s way.  But he had to be very diligent when going for the role of Griff the Invisible, a new film about a mild-mannered superhero wannabe.

“It was such a beautiful, sweet story, and I really fought tooth and nail to play that character and to convince the director, producers, whoever it was, I didn’t care if it was the guy doing the catering, that I was the right guy for the job.  It was a very hotly contested role.”

Although he had to send four taped auditions to Australian director, Leon Ford, perseverance (and his talent) prevailed and Ryan got the part.  The film was shot between the 2nd and 3rd seasons of True Blood.

Although he loves playing Jason, Ryan said he does not want to play another Jason-like character in his time off from the show.  He wants more challenges and inspiration.

With Season 3 of True Blood coming to an end this Sunday, Ryan was asked in an article in the Toronto Sun what is ahead for JasonRyan said he has no idea, but he’s happy with that.

“I have to wait but to be perfectly honest, I really don’t mind,” he said.  “I’m not one of those actors, who must know everything and in fact, it sort of helps me with Jason — ’cause he’s such a spontaneous guy — to get the lowdown on my character the week before, the night before, whatever it may be, and then act on instinct and throw caution to the wind.  I think that, for me, works so much better than having all these pre-planned notions of where he’s going in life and what’s happening next.  He just doesn’t have that capacity of thought, I don’t think.”

Considering all the sex and nudity he’s had to portray, how comfortable does Ryan think his mother is with his character’s storyline?

“I don’t know if it bothers her, but I never pry that deep, to be honest,” he joked.

Griff the Invisible premiered Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Source: torontosun.com – Kwanten breaks from wildman role

(Photo credit – Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos via exposay.com)

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True Blood’s Ryan Kwanten Reveals Tidbits About Himself

September 11, 2010

Ryan Kwanten True Blood Jason StackhouseGetting to Know Ryan Kwanten:

Ryan Kwanten, our very own Jason Stackhouse on HBO‘s True Blood, made a list of 25 things fans didn’t know about him.

The list, in numbered format, starts with Ryan‘s appeal to everyone to help fight cancer, as his mother is a breast cancer survivor.  He also said he could only hope to be half the man his dad is.

On the topic of people, Ryan says he finds it hard to trust anyone who doesn’t like animals.  He believes a woman’s body is the most exquisite gift and her mind a mystery.  He avoids pompous people and when people agree with him, he always feels that he must be wrong.

Ryan said he’s broken every knuckle of his right hand, has been bitten by a shark, has had no formal acting training and doesn’t like musicals.

About his likes, Ryan‘s best advice is one day at a time.  He is a champion at Scrabble and beer pong, loves fresh air, and one of his favorite movie characters is Butch Cassidy.

And for fans of Jason Stackhouse, Ryan revealed this tidbit:

“I wear a size-30 jean.  Jason Stackhouse wears a size 28. Boy likes ‘em tight.”

Read the entire list at USMagazine.com.  And do not miss the season finale of True Blood this Sunday, September 12.

Source:  usmagazine.com

(Photo credit – HBO Inc.)

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True Blood’s Rutina Wesley Meets Fans in Chicago

September 9, 2010

Rutina Wesley Have a Blast in Chicago:

Rutina Wesley brought her True Blood character, Tara Thornton, to a True Blood party in Chicago last weekend. Rutina got to sign autographs and respond to questions by KISS-FM DJ, Tommy Black.

The event was held in Wrigleyville’s John Barleycorn, a saloon with outdoor patio and beergarden.

Enjoy the photos.

Source:  nbcchicago.com

(photo credit:  nbcchicago.com)

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